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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care


by Donna Conte
(Williston VT)

My Aussie is very shy around people. Is this a puppy phase?

Comments for Shyness

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by: Anne

This could be a phase but your puppy needs MORE socialization.
Depending on how old your puppy is, you can take it to a dog park or a basic obedience class to expose your puppy to different situations.
Take dog treats and give them to strangers, and ask them to please feed your puppy and talk nice and approach the puppy slowly. You want to positively reinforce that people won't hurt them and sounds and different environments won't hurt them either. That it is okay to be in that situation.
The more places you take them, the better they get.
Hope That helps.

Anne Calmes
Gold Ring Aussies
Louisiana, USA

by: Nonnie

Anne gives excellent information. We took out puppies to our local pet store as often as we could. In addition we also asked people to touch our puppies' ears, feet, nose, back, every place we could. It helped alot.

Good Luck!!

by: Anonymous

It can be a phase, or inherited. I am an experienced aussie owner who had decided to step up my game into showing and breeding these cute little guys. I purchased a puppy through one of the "top breeders" in the country. What a disaster. The puppy was extremely shy. I talked to the breeder and followed her suggestions. I took her to class once a week for over a year, including puppy kindergarden twice for extra socialization. This little girl went on walks, to town sporting events, you name it. It turned out that although she was raised in a house, it was separate from the breeders home. The dog was not properly socialized during the first eight weeks of her life. There was nothing I could do. The breeder accused me of being an unfit owner. I rehomed this girl with a family that has a calmer lifestyle than my house. She is doing well.
I got another puppy from a different breeder who raises her puppies in her family room with her family. What a difference!!! This guy went through a short shy phase but is now everyone's best friend. Bottom line, do as much as you can to socialize your puppy. If it doesn't get better, it may not be your fault.
If all breeders were as good as the one I got my new little guy from, there would be a lot less aussies in rescue situations.

shy aussie
by: kat

I adopted a diamond in the rough. He was 2 yrs old and a nervous wreck. He had no personality and his ears were plastered to his head. Three years later, he loves my cats and thinks everyone in the apartment complex is his best friend.

I decided that he needed affection and his trust in me
Before anything else could happen. He has become so eager to please. These guys are so smart. He knows phrases and has become so obedient and trustworthy. Touch his ears and feet while you give him a smooch on the snout. They need to establish trust and you need to earn it. The training will be easy. My dog actually responds to praise and affection more than treats.

by: Adelaide'sDad

I agree with the previously posted comments on socialization, which should always begin as early as possible, but I feel that people are leaving one important factor out.

Aussies were bred to be alert dogs, looking out for the flock and their family. It is only natural then that they are suspicious of strangers. They don't know if the person coming down the street is out to steal their "flock". Personally, this is one of the traits that I admire about Aussies as opposed to other types of dogs, including those that are bred to be 'watch-dogs'.

That being said, my wonderful little girl Adelaide is very well socialized. We go to the dog park at LEAST once a day, are part of a flyball team, and she always rides with me in the car. However, she is still very suspicious of people she doesn't know. But after about 5 times meeting someone, she slowly warms up to them, and by the tenth meeting, she is licking face! The same goes with other dogs. She will generally not play with other dogs that she does not know from a previous meeting unless they are puppies.

Its ok
by: Anonymous

Mine had a phase like that to. I think they start to see things better and relize the world is kinda scary. But dont let this slide by. You need to work on it. Have people bring canes, umbrellas, kids, ring the doorbell, knock. Listen to daily things so it is not shy around things you need to do daily or people.

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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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